Frequently Asked Questions

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How does seniority work with IBEW 499?

In our Contract with MEC it says your seniority starts when you enter a Exhibit A job.  Exhibit A is a list of jobs and pay scale.  If you have been in a job like dispatch for 10 years and that job becomes an Exhibit A job you get all 10 years of service for seniority.

Will I make more money if I belong to a Union?

While across the County represented employee make more than non-represented employees but we cannot make any promises on wages and benefits.  But in a “Right to Work” State all employees are called “at will” employees unless they belong to a Union.

How much are Union dues?

Iowa is a right to work state and nobody has to belong to the Union.  Out of our 1150 members a little over 98% do belong.  Our dues structure is 1% of your month gross plus the International dues with is $13 a month.

What benefit is there to have a Union?

As explained in question 2 you are no longer an employee at the will of the Company they need just cause to terminate your employment.  You have more job advancement opportunities through the bidding process on jobs.  Most important you have a say in what your working conditions, and benefits are.

Why is the Union putting on the organizing campaign now?

Over the past year we have had many phone calls asking “How can I join the Union?”  Over the past 18 months there have been over 75 terminations by the Company.  While belonging to a Union doesn’t guarantee your job it does allow for a grievance and arbitration if we believe you were terminated without just cause.  While Local 499 has had around 12 of the 75 people that were fired, we are proceeding with arbitrations on the employees that, we believe, were terminated without just cause.  Without a Union what recourse do you have if you are terminated?

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